Schiano's Sunday press conference

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano met with the media today to discuss the particulars of Saturday's win against Texas Southern, including his thoughts on the offense. He also talked about the play of the defense, the punt return game and the short-yardage offense. Schiano also addressed the upcoming game against Pittsburgh, and what he thinks the Panthers do well.

On if the team suffered any injuries from the Texas Southern game.
"I think we are OK. Our guys will be in a little bit later today. We are in pretty good shape. It was a physical game so we will have our bumps and stuff. We won't practice today because it is a short week. Hopefully, tomorrow we will be full go."

On Pittsburgh QB Bill Stull.
"The biggest thing is that he is not turning the ball over. Now, yesterday he turned it over twice – two interceptions. Up to that point, he had not been doing that. If you take care of the football, eventually good things will happen. That is the biggest thing. He has really good receivers to throw to as well.

"If you remember in our game, he hadn't really played yet. Our game was kind of his breakout game. Since then, he has played well. He has one of the best receivers in the Big East Conference (Jonathan Baldwin) playing for him. He is certainly a threat."

On what he thinks of his team's performance in short-yardage situations.
"I am not pleased with it but it is not only short yardage. There are other situations where we haven't run the ball effectively and short yardage is one of them."

On how he thought the receivers played after watching film from the Texas Southern game.
"Quron (Pratt) made a play, like I said last night. Julian (Hayes) played well. Mark (Harrison) had a little playing time but he didn't get an opportunity to (get the ball). That nears to what we are – we are a work in progress."

On if he agrees with QB Tom Savage's assessment that his accuracy wasn't where he wanted it to be against Texas Southern.
"A little bit but that goes for any quarterback. He has aiming points. We will run certain routes and it will be ‘up field facemask.' It is that detailed as far as where his aiming point is. So if ‘up field facemask' is his aiming point and he gets ‘up field hip' that is a big discrepancy. I am pleased to have a quarterback who is that precise in his thinking. Is it a reality to hit those spots every time? Probably not but we strive for it.

"When we were going towards the bubble and away from the scoreboard the wind was really a factor. It was coming from the bubble on an angle down and I think that affected some throws as well."

On WR Tim Brown's ability to take a hard hit.
"Tim is a tough guy – there is no doubt about it. I think the same question came up last game. As I have said before, Tim is a complete receiver. He can make all the catches. He can run all the routes and he holds on to the football. When Tim is focused and right on point, he really is a complete receiver."

On if he would use WR Tim Brown as a punt returner.
"Mohamed (Sanu) is the best punt returner we have on the team."

On if Sanu is instructed when to fair catch a punt.
"No, one thing I never do, which I have told you guys (media) before, is doubt a punt returner. It is the hardest thing to do in football. He has to go on his instincts. Quite frankly, in a game like (Texas Southern), he was swamped in what he was doing."

On what he has seen out of Pittsburgh this season.
"It is a lot of the same guys doing the same stuff. They are a Dave Wannstedt-coached team – there is no doubt about it. They play great defense, they are going to try to run the football and they have a big receiver (Jonathan Baldwin) which fits their scheme perfectly. They run the football and throw the ball deep.

"I think the game is going to be sound because of the ability of the players. A sound game but with the opportunity to make big plays. It is a team that, having worked with Dave, he is probably very pleased with the makeup of his football team. He has a very good defensive line. They are a very good football team."

On what he thinks of Pittsburgh running backs.
"They both (Ray Graham and Dion Lewis) have really good vision. Ray is incredible with his shiftiness. They both are. You can see that they are a well-coached football team. They understand the runs that they are running. The running backs understand when to be patient and when to go fast. Their offense is very well conceived and their kids understand it. They are a well-coached team."

On if his team wants a little redemption in Big East play.
"I am not sure. I am sure anybody as a competitor does but we just have to focus on the process of getting ready and preparing. Any competitor wants to get back out there. Last time the league saw us we were 0-1 and now we are 4-1. Hopefully we go out and play better Friday night. As long as we play our best that is all I ask for."

On if QB Tom Savage has gotten enough playing time heading into the Pittsburgh game.
"Enough? There is never enough. I think what we have to do is make sure we put him in situations that he can handle. Tom will be fine."

On if he is surprised that Savage has yet to throw an interception.
"Surprised? No, I think it has been a real point of emphasis as it always is. Surprise isn't the word. I like it when I look down and see there are none. On the same token, when he does throw one, it is not the end of the world. It is going to happen."

On RB Kordell Young's role in the team's game plan.
"Right now, in his role as our sub back on third downs he really is doing a couple things well. He is being very effective in things we ask him to do and he is keeping his body together."

On what the team needs to do to bring the passing game to the same level of success as the running game.
"I don't look at it that way because I don't see the running game really where we want it to be. I think it needs to be about the whole effort. What has to happen in the passing game is - No. 1, we need to protect better. The quarterback is getting hit too much. No. 2, we need to be more precise in every area of the passing game.

"That is the challenge anytime you have young wide receivers. If you look at it, everybody, except Tim Brown, in the passing game is an inexperienced player. We have to get it precise because imprecision leads to turnovers. Imprecision leads to incomplete passes.

"In the run game, it takes 11 (players) and we are getting nine or eight. We are not getting 11 most of the time with everybody doing their assignment. That is why we are a work in progress. If we weren't I would stand up here and say we are really cranking but tweaking here and there."

On if Savage improved his performance in the pocket against Texas Southern.
"He did. As a matter of fact, he didn't do it (drift) against Cincinnati. Sometimes when you are a young guy and you don't have cumulative repetitions on your side, you can do something and not realize you are doing till you see it on tape."

On if the team's 12 penalties against Texas Southern are correctable
"Yes but it is discouraging. I am not happy with it. Two holes that bring back two big plays. You can't sit there and say that was a bad play. Also, the sloppy ones at the end. The one substitution one I am not going to get worried about because we are trying to get people off the field. If that happens, it happens.

"The holes and sloppy (penalties) when you line up offsides. Defensive linemen, if they hear a trigger they are going to jump sometimes. I can live with that I prefer they do it on third-and-five-yards plus so it doesn't give them a first down. If you are going to live on the edge, sometimes you are going to fall off the edge.

"But if you line up offsides – that is frustrating. There is an old saying ‘put your hand behind the ball and your head behind the hand and you won't go offsides."


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